How to Restore a Glass Shower Door

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Restoring a neglected glass shower door takes a bit of effort, but it is usually possible. The first challenge is removing soap scum and mineral deposits from the glass itself. Rusted or discolored frames or hardware deserve attention as well. Occasionally, chemical interactions in the water may permanently etch glass or discolor the finish on cheap frames and hardware. In these instances, the only option is replacement.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • Large bowl
  • Clean sponges or cloths
  • Squeegee or paper towels
  • 1/2 cup mild scouring powder
  • 3 tbsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • Old toothbrush or toothpick

Mix 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1 cup baking soda in a large bowl deep enough to accommodate the fizzing action that takes place when these two ingredients are combined.

Rub the mixture on the glass door with a sponge or cloth. The acid in the vinegar breaks down the hard water stains, while the fizzing action that results from combining the baking soda and vinegar breaks down soap scum.

Wait 30 minutes. Wipe the mixture off and rinse the door thoroughly. Dry the door immediately with a squeegee or paper towel.

Mix 1/2 cup mild scouring powder, 3 tbsp. cream of tartar, and 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide in a bowl.

Rub this mixture on the frame and any corroded fixtures. The acid in the cream of tartar removes rust, while the other ingredients remove dirt and grime.

Scrub detailed areas with a toothbrush, or wrap a toothpick in a clean cloth to get into crevices. Rinse the surfaces well, and dry them immediately.

Tips & Warnings

  • Apply a shower cleaner to the glass door daily to minimize soap scum and buildup, and allow the door to stand open after showering to release humidity.
  • Don't use chlorine bleach to remove rust stains, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension. Doing so will only brighten the red color.
  • If the natural remedies listed above fail to remove all residues, try commercial rust removers and products designed for hard water stains.

References

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